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{Wedding Day Ready with Yoga}

September 9, 2010

Yoga is a great way to get ready for your special day! It lengthens your muscles, which will give you nice long lines. But yoga also is a wonderful way to distress for what can be a stressful time. Here are a few poses that are great for stretching the entire body, I suggest doing them in the morning to wake up  your body for the day ahead.

All of these poses were found on MyYogaOnline.com. This is a great website that has yoga videos, poses, and healthy tips.

 

Adho Mukha Svanasana :: AKA Downward Facing Dog

:: Benefits ::

  • Elongates and releases tension from your spine
  • Stretches your hamstrings, calves, arches, and hands
  • Strengthens your arms, shoulders, and back
  • Improves mobility of your digestive system
  • Relieves back pain, headaches, insomnia and fatique
  • Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause
  • Downward-Facing Dog is a mild inversion that calms the nervous system and helps relieve stress

:: Steps ::

  • Come onto your hands and knees with your palms just forward of the shoulders.
  • Spread your fingers with your index finger forward, knees under your hips and toes tucked.
  • Inhale and lift your knees away from the floor as sit-bones reach towards the ceiling.
  • At first, keep the knees slightly bent and the heels lifted away from the floor.
  • Exhale and elongate up through your tailbone moving the abdomen towards the heels.
  • Your heels lower and your legs lengthen without strain to the hamstrings or a pull on the pelvis. 
  • Roll your upper thighs inward slightly and roll the heels outward slightly.
  • Maintain light pressure on the basis of your index fingers.
  • Widen the shoulder blades and feel them move towards your tailbone.
  • Keep a long neck with your head comfortable in line with the arms.
  • Your elbow and knee joints should not be locked.
  • Emphasize length in the spine as you keep even weight on the hands and feet.  For beginners, a slight softness can be kept in the knees, and the heels do not have to touch the floor.
  • Hold for several breaths, then exit to a new pose or come down to rest in child’s pose or thunderbolt pose.
  •  

    Virabhadrasana I :: AKA Warrior Pose 1

    :: Benefits ::

    • strengthens the shoulders, arms, thighs, ankles and the muscles of the back
    • expands the chest, lungs and shoulders
    • stretches the hip flexors, abdomen, and ankles
    • develops stamina and endurance in thighs and core muscles
    • stimulates abdominal organs and digestion
    • improves balance, concentration, and core awareness

    :: Steps ::

    1. Stand in Tadasana. With an exhalation, step your left foot back 3 1/2 to 4 feet. Align the left heel behind the right heel and then turn the left foot out 45 degrees keeping the right foot forward. Rotate the hips so both hip points are facing forward and parallel to the front of the mat. Gently root the outer edge of the left foot into mat as your hips and shoulders rotate forward
    2. Inhale and raise your arms perpendicular to the ground keeping arms open shoulder width apart and parallel to each other. Reach through the fingertips as the palms face inwards. Draw the shoulders blades down encouraging the shoulders to move down and away from the neck. Feel as though the shoulder blades lightly hug into the back.
    3. As you exhale, contract the abdominal muscles and tilt the pelvis so the tailbone moves down and under. Slowly bend the right knee placing the knee over the heel. As you continue to breathe, feel the right heel anchoring allowing the toes to lighten and spread. Applying slightly more pressure in the right heel rather than the toes will keep the right knee more stable and will minimize force being placed into the knee joint. Continue to draw the tailbone under and towards the pubic bone and feed the bottom front ribs in keeping the abdomen from swaying outward. Picture the pubic bone lifting towards the navel. Keep strengthening the pose by pressing the outer left heel into the floor sending a lifting energy up the left leg into the pelvis and through to the arms
    4. Stay tall over the pelvis feeling the ribcage (especially the back edge) lift away from the pelvis. Keep your head in a neutral position, gazing forward, or tilt the head back and look comfortably up at your thumbs
    5. Breathe slowly and stay for 30 seconds to 1 minute. To exit, exhale to lower the arms and place the hands onto the hips. Inhale as you press firmly into the right heel and step the left leg forward. Exhale to release the hands from the hips and adjust the feet and pelvis into Tadasana. Take a few breaths and then repeat with the other side for the same length of time.

    {Lizzie}

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